3 Questions to Ask Your Cloud Provider Prior to Migration

The benefits of cloud migration are well documented. Despite this, many business leaders remain concerned about moving their legacy systems away from on-premises hardware and into the cloud.

This apprehension is justified. Companies that invest large amounts of capital in their on-premises hardware may be reluctant to shell out more money for similar deployments, despite the obvious benefits of the cloud.

Other organizations may worry that what works in an on-premises position may function differently in a cloud environment—and they may be right.

But letting uncertainty limit proactive decision-making ultimately puts any business at a competitive disadvantage. If you have any questions, a qualified and reputable cloud provider can help guide you toward the answers you need to plan a smooth migration.

adoption barriers
Financial concerns aren’t the only ones stopping companies from fully adopting the cloud. Because regulators have been cracking down on data privacy breaches publicly, modern business leaders have a strong incentive to keep sensitive data at home and off the cloud.

Questions about data security – specifically how it is stored, how and when it is accessed, how long it is kept, and whether it is encrypted – are all real and valid concerns. When it comes to tech adoption in general and mistrust of the cloud in particular, regulatory and security concerns may prompt leaders to maintain a less aggressive stance.

But just because your data is no longer limited to your physical workplace, doesn’t mean it’s more vulnerable — when it comes to assessing security, it’s the means of access that matters. Comparing data security in the cloud versus on-premises is a matter of comparing your cloud provider and your IT department.

Cloud providers tend to have a more secure IT environment than the organizations they support.
These companies face strict standards, forcing them to either build secure, independently audited data centers or face hefty fines. For example, Amazon Web Services, one of the largest public cloud providers, uses more than 1,800 security controls to keep problems from breaking through.

Simply put, the technological advances that have taken place in security and functionality over the past decade are significant. In light of this, the cloud can be an efficient, scalable, secure and cost-effective alternative to on-premises servers.

Ideas to do before committing to the cloud
When moving to the cloud, choose a provider that takes the time to understand your business, keeps evolving security practices, and provides solutions that are customized and scalable to your needs. Use these three questions to find the provider that checks each of these boxes:

1. How is the migration process structured?
The ease of cloud migration largely depends on how much planning is done ahead of time. Your provider should be able to help you come up with a plan that specifically details how you will transfer the data.

Will the data and applications need to be compressed before they can be transferred, or will the virtual server need to be configured to handle the input and output generated by the large number of applications?

The plan should also include security requirements during the stay. Not only will you want to move your data to a secure final destination, but you also need to make sure that any temporary storage locations meet your security standards.

2. How is the integration supported?
When you move to a cloud-based infrastructure, virtually every core business process will be affected. Often, those processes involve external partners and third-party vendors whose services and support are important to your business.

Your cloud service provider should help map out existing system integrations and show how they will continue to interact in the cloud. In addition, the plan should also cover any changes or interruptions that occur during the stay.

3. Will the data be locked?
Vendor lock-in can occur when a customer relies on a product or service that is unique in the market or is incompatible with competing offerings. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to move data from one cloud provider to another to reduce reliance on a single entity.

A good cloud provider will have experience moving large applications and associated data sets, which will significantly reduce the amount of capital and time you invest.

Don’t let your questions about the cloud go unanswered or keep you hooked to your old system.
Cloud computing gives leaders secure access to their business applications on any platform – it is also capable of recovering data after a catastrophic event. Similarly, the online nature of the cloud leads to increased worker mobility, increased storage capacity.

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